Most people know that countries have their particular way of speaking English, not meaning accents but the minor tweaks and slang that have been created. Let’s take South Africa for example, a country with 11 official languages but English being the medium of instruction. The English language is learned in schools and spoken in various households but we still have our personal English. South African English is derived from various borrowed words from its list of official languages. The classic “robot” instead of traffic light has to be our most popular. The name amasi for sour milk, babbelas for hangover and various other words. Another example would be a country not that far from South Africa would be Australia. While watching the biggest loser Australia I realized that they were using singular verbs with singular collective nouns instead of plural verbs and the very common yous instead of both of you or all of you. These examples then pose the question of whether we are still speaking English. When one thinks of the English language the first thing that comes to mind is England where it is said the language was first spoken. So if the country where the language originated doesn’t not recognise certain words as English is it still English? Various schoolers think it still is. Dr Mario Saraceni of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth stated that it is time that English is taught in a purely local context as language is not about getting closer to the home of English but is about mutual understanding. He continues to state that the language is forever being reincarnated throughout the world and therefore England should not be seen as the fortress of the English language where it is pure and perfect. As the concept of a single version of any language is always questionable. This however is merely a view held by a single linguist whether it is legitimate or not one doesn’t know but as long as it agrees that South African English is lekker I’m happy.

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